SUPER SMASH BROS FOR WII U – REVIEW

      Super Smash Bros returns for another round of chaotic battles with your favourite Nintendo characters. So is it any good?

YES

Really? Your actually questioning whether it’s any good? Come on guys! Its Smash Bros! Super Smash Bros for Wii U is the 4th console edition of this franchise, which started with Super Smash Bros on the Nintendo 64. For the uninitiated, Super Smash Bros for Wii U is an arcade brawler where characters from across many of Nintendo’s franchises duke it out. Smash Bros continues to be easy to learn, but difficult to master as you battle it out one on one, in teams and in a chaotic 8 player smash, new to this iteration of the franchise.

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Smash Bros for Wii U is a return to form since the Wii version, Brawl, was met with mixed reviews from hardcore smash players. Whilst the game was jam packed with content, the characters felt sluggish compared to the masterpiece that was Smash Bros Melee for the Gamecube. Smash Bros Wii U is an exciting mash between the last two titles, and is a return to form in the competitive arena, where serious players will enjoy the precision and speed missing in the last title.

All your favourite characters are back, including Mario, Link, Samus, Fox, Pikachu etc, along with a few new characters such as the Villager from Animal Crossing and Little Mac from Punch Out! A few visitors from non-Nintendo franchises join the fray in the form of Capcom’s Megaman, Sega’s Sonic and Namco’s Pacman! Some fantastic secret characters are hidden in the game for you to unlock, including a few from deep within Nintendo’s past. Each character has its own individual move set, with some being great in the air, some slow, some fast. You’ll learn quickly the characters that fit with your play style! The game is fast and frantic as you battle it out across a number of imaginative stages featuring crazy items! This truly is controlled chaos.

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New modes in this version include Smash Tour, a Mario Party type mode where your Mii Characters move around a board collecting stats boosts and characters to use during the final battle. Event Mode is a welcome return after being missing from the 3DS version, allowing you to battle it out in specific challenges. Crazy Orders/Master Orders is a pair of new play modes. Crazy Orders is a mode where you battle out across variety of increasingly hard challenges in order to gain better prizes. Choose when to stop playing tho, because if you lose once, you lose everything!

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Another new addition is the integration of Nintendo’s new RFID figurines, Amiibo. These fantastically detailed figures allow you to spawn them as Fighters in your game. These ‘Figure Players’ can be used as team mates or as opponents. During each battle they collect experience, and learn your personal play style, to become very competitive opponents. At the time of writing, my level 43 Fox Amiibo beat myself, my brother and my friend in a battle. It scares me that my plastic figurine has already trumped years of Smash Bros practice in about a week. These things get good, fast. I guess it just has a good trainer!

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Online play returns, with the options of battling it out ‘For Fun’, or ‘For Glory’. For Fun allows you to battle it out online with all items enabled. For Glory mode is the true online experience for the hardcore Smash players, with basic level design and no items, in a true test of each player’s skill with their character.

The game looks amazing in 1080p, and runs at a very smooth 60FPS – excellent for the pace of this game. Nintendo has also decided to release a Gamecube Controller adaptor for Wii U, allowing you to use the amazingly excellent Gamecube controllers once more. In fact, the controller options on this title are almost limitless, including the Wii U Pad, Gamecube Controllers, Wii Remotes, Classic Controllers, Pro Controllers. Almost current and last gen controller options are available, so you shouldn’t have any worries setting up a 4 player battle with your mates!

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Whilst there are very few negative points, there a few worth mentioning. I was surprised and a little disappointed that I couldn’t actually play AS my Amiibo. I think its fun to battle against the figure, but would love to be able to customise the character with my own stats and then take it over to a friend’s house.  A true single player ‘story mode’ has never really Smash Bros strongest point, but after the disappointment of ‘The Subspace Emissary’ in Brawl, I was hoping they might be able to perfect this in the Wii U version. Unfortunately no true story mode experience is on offer –  we don’t even get the exciting Smash Run mode from the 3DS version ported over, but I guess this was to create differences in the versions. This brings me to the biggest issue I have, which isn’t really an issue for the Wii U release, but rather a comment about Nintendo’s decision to release two versions of the game with this generation of Smash. The 3DS version has been available since October and was such a fantastic experience, that when the Wii U version rolled around, I felt like I’d already seen all the secrets and cool stuff, since the character roster is the same across both versions. I guess this is truly a sign of credit to the excellent 3DS version.

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At the end of that day, this is classic Smash Bros through and through. This reviewer has always struggled with traditional fighters (Street Fighter/Tekken etc), but I’ve always enjoyed mastering Smash Bros. This title is no exception. There’s so much to do here solo including events, collecting trophies, completing a vast array of challenges, playing the masterpieces (short demos of classic Nintendo games), but at the end of the day this is an amazing local multiplayer experience.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your mates and huddle round the TV for another round of chaotic battling.

Super Smash Bros is back, baby.

Thank goodness.

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